Spy Shots: 2021 Volkswagen Polo (Updated)

VW PoloSpy 1

Spy shots of the facelifted Volkswagen Polo have landed. Here's what we know about the popular compact hatchback ahead of its estimated arrival in 2022.

Picture credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien. We have paid for these photos and at the photographer's request, have watermarked them.

*Update* In January 2021, prototypes of the facelifted Volkswagen Polo were spotted on the road. At first glance, we can see a revised front end, complete with new headlights. We suspect the updated Polo will feature Golf 8-like lights at the front as this unit's headlamps are carefully camouflaged. There's also a change to the boot lid and the rear lights have been tweaked too. The real changes will be under the skin, with improvements and enhancements likely in the refinement, performance, and efficiency departments. 

Given its popularity in SA and the fact that the VW plant in Uitenhage contributes significantly to both local and international markets, it wouldn't surprise us to see Polo prototypes running around the Eastern Cape before the end of the year. As for showroom arrival, we expect the updated Polo to be revealed before the end of 2021 and hitting dealer floors in 2022. 


The changes aren't immediately apparent, but if you look closely, you'll see some tweaks to the rear lights as well as a new bootlid.

The current iteration of the Volkswagen Polo has been on sale for some time. Officially launched in South Africa back in January 2018, the Volkswagen Polo has been a popular compact hatchback, tallying up more than healthy sales numbers. Globally, the Volkswagen Polo was revealed in the middle of 2017.

With almost 3 years of local market dominance, you can bet Volkswagen has started internal discussions on the facelifted model. Given the fact that Volkswagen's Uitenhage plant churns out Polos for both the local and international markets, the updated Polo is of paramount importance. 

Brazil Automotive has done a render of the Volkswagen Polo and if you, like us, think this looks unusually familiar, you'd be right. The front of the Volkswagen Golf 8 has been superimposed onto the nose of the Polo, and we think it looks great. This new face is not unique to the Golf 8 either and we've seen a variation of this design language on the updated Tiguan SUV. 

What can we expect in the updated Volkswagen Polo? Volkswagen is a firm believer in incremental improvements, so don't expect a major overhaul both in terms of visual design and under the skin changes. We can speculate and suspect there will be updates to the infotainment system, cabin trim as well as revisions to the powertrain in an effort to make them more efficient.

As it stands, Volkswagen SA currently offers the Polo with a few powertrain combinations revolving around the 1.0-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder petrol motor. It's available in 2 states of tune (70 kW and 85 kW) and there's a manual gearbox or dual-clutch auto on offer. For those wanting some firepower, the 2.0-litre Polo GTI is also available, but that's dual-clutch only.  

Further Reading

2021 Volkswagen Polo Sedan Revealed

Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Conceptline (2016) Specs & Price

Volkswagen SA has built 200 000 new Polos

Video Comparison: 2018 Volkswagen Polo & 2017 Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo GTI (2018) Specs & Price

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